“I am more comfortable in the ocean than I am on land,” said Betty Ann Puaonaona Barnett who was inducted into the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame in both Masters Swimmers and Ocean Swimmers.
Since 1972, the flight attendant for Hawaiian Airlines since 1966, has dominated her age groups at the Waikiki Roughwater Swim every September. She has entered the famed race in Hawaii a total of 35 times. She has placed first in her age group 32 times, placing second twice and third once. Barnett also competes during her intercontinental layovers which is when she has taken the time to win 18 age group ocean swim titles in Australia including event such as The Big Swim from Palm Beach to Whale Beach, the Cole Classic, and races at Mollymook, Stanwell Park to Coalcliff, DeeWhy Beach, Balmoral Beach, and Bondi to Coogee. “I have this fantastic job that lets me work and play at the same time.“
The winningest person ever for the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, she has also set U.S. national and world masters swimming records in the pool. At the 2002 FINA World Masters Swimming Championships, Barnett set three world records in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter backstroke events. At the 2006 FINA World Masters Swimming Championships, she set world records in each of the five events entered. And in 2008, Barnett set another world record in the the 800-meter freestyle for 9 world records to date.
With more undoubtedly to come.
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association